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Don't let your child study in bed, get a table and chair

delhi Updated: Feb 03, 2012 01:29 IST
Jaya Shroff Bhalla
Jaya Shroff Bhalla
Hindustan Times
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Does you child study on the bed? Does he slouch over the desk while reading? Have you noticed the way your child sometimes curls his entire body into the chair? All these are signs of poor postures and require your immediate attention.

"Sitting in the same posture or incorrect postures for long hours may cause acute backaches," warned Dr PK Dave, head, orthopaedics department at Rockland Hospital and former AIIMS director.

"It is important that one sits correctly. It is also advised that the child takes short 10 minute breaks every two hours, so that he can stretch himself and relax before getting back to study again."

Come exam time, most children end up spending a lot of time in front of their books or computers.

Doctors said parents should monitor the way their child sits as a good posture enables one to breathe properly, which is why the stress on correct sitting in meditation, pilates or yoga. Good breathing means good intake of oxygen. More oxygen, equates to more brain food, which in turn leads to better memory and thinking power.

Similarly, lying on the bed and studying may sound tempting, but experts warn that the position is very bad both for the eyes as well for the neck.

One tends to feel sleepy, loses concentration and even the eyes are often under tremendous load because of little distance from the reading material. Orthopaedics say it is best to avoid reading while lying on your back, stomach or side.

"A lot of children have a tendency to sit on the bed while studying. In other times, they sit in a cross-legged position, where they tend to slouch. This posture is not only harmful for the back but also tires the child more easily," warned Dr Bipin Walia, senior consultant, neuro-spine surgeon at Max Healthcare, Saket.

Dr KL Kalra, senior consultant, spine surgery at Sir Gangaram Hospital, said, "A good posture means maintaining the three natural curves on the back - the neck, the dorsal area and the lumbar spine. The posture is maintained by discs, the vertebral column, ligaments and muscles."

"If one does not sit properly, then he over stretches the ligaments and muscles causing them to lose elasticity and hence becoming painful. This faulty posture puts lots of pressure on joints and discs, which degenerates and causes acute pain and numbness," he said.

Emphasising the need for a chair to have a good back and lumbar support, Dr Walia added, "A child should always use a table and chair, which is ergonomic, while studying. The two heights should be adjusted such that the child does not have to bend forward or incline backwards."

Doctors also advise that the child should either tilt the book so that it is raised up about 45 degrees from the desk or use an architect's desk, which has a slight slope.

This positioning aids in achieving good posture and reducing eyes and neck strain.